Very often parents ask two decisive questions regarding their children: What do you really need to know to have a successful life? And is knowledge a guarantee of success in life?
When children are young, parents’ concerns revolve around food, health, walking, in short, talking about proper development, but when they reach puberty, when they begin to outline manifestations of independence, of need distancing themselves from their parents in To structure their identity and when the preference for the peer group is clearer than for the family group, parents believe that they have already left hands.
Young people need to develop skills that provide them with specific tools that facilitate more positive and healthy behavior. For example, assertive (effective) communication helps them to reject invitations or pressure from friends to use drugs, to initiate sexuality early, or to assume it without protection.
These aforementioned skills can be defined as life skills that are psychosocial skills that enable people to effectively face the demands and challenges of daily life.
What are the life skills?
Self-knowledge: implies recognizing the being of each one, as well as their character, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes.
Empathy: Ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagine what that person’s life is like, even in situations where you are unfamiliar.
Assertive (effective) communication: ability to express yourself, both verbally and non-verbally, appropriately to culture and situations. It allows you to achieve personal goals in a socially acceptable way and ask for advice or help in times of need.
Interpersonal Relationships: This skill helps to relate positively to the people with whom you interact, to have the necessary skills to start and maintain good friendly and family relationships, and to be able to finish them constructively.
Ability to make decisions: allows you to constructively manage decisions related to your own life and that of others.
Ability to solve problems and conflicts: it allows to face constructively the problems of life, avoiding additional physical, mental and psychosocial problems (alcoholism, consumption of psychoactive substances).
Creative thinking: contributes to decision-making and problem solving, allowing us to explore the available alternatives and the different consequences of actions or omissions and respond adaptively and flexibly to situations that occur in everyday life.
Critical thinking: is the ability to analyze information and experiences objectively. It contributes to health by helping to recognize and evaluate factors that influence attitudes and behavior, such as the media and peer pressure.
Emotion control skills
Emotion management: helps to recognize the feelings and emotions of oneself and others, to be aware of how they influence our social behavior and to respond to them appropriately.
Stress management: Makes it easier to recognize sources of stress, their effects on life, and make changes to reduce them.
Theories of human development and adolescent behavior establish that these specific skills are essential components of healthy development and are skills that define a child with a strong character. Through research, these particular skills have also been found to mediate adolescent behavior.
In our 5th grade GED curriculum, we offer “life skills” as a subject, providing strategies for our students to enable them to develop successfully.